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SALT LAKE CITY — The playoffs aren't known for being easy.
That's what both the Davis Darts and Pleasant Grove Vikings experienced Monday afternoon in a close, physical battle that the Vikings came out on top of, 48-45.
The Vikings' 7-foot-3 sophomore Matthew Van Komen led the winners with 12 points and 12 rebounds, tipping rebounds for himself and taking advantage of chaotic plays. He also had three blocks in the game.
"In preseason, he's averaging 20 a game," said Pleasant Grove coach Randy McAllister. But at this level, "everybody knows what he's going to do, and they take it away with physical play. He hasn't got frustrated, and he's stayed working."
But he wasn't alone. Kawika Akina and Keanu Akina combined for 16 points in the game, including 11 from the free-throw line. That's where the Vikings got most of their points. In fact, they made 25 of 33 free throws in a foul-laden game, frustrating Darts head coach Chad Sims. Ethan Coombs added nine.
Neither team could make a 3-point shot, but especially not Davis. In a game that was lost by three points, the Darts went 3-24 from beyond the arc. The Vikings shot 3 for 13 from deep, but that was only thanks to a 2-for-2 second-half performance. They started the game 1 for 11.
In the end, Tyson Garff led the Darts in scoring, getting 16 points despite 3-for-11 shooting.
But in the end, thanks to their size and strength, the Vikings were the winners in the slow-paced battle of physicality.